A STREET in Greenock with no name is now at the centre of a debate over the issue of slavery.

A meeting to name a waterfront road led to a debate amongst councillors, who queried whether the suggested title was appropriate - as it highlights the town’s historic involvement with the trade.

The issue arose after council bosses highlighted that the road at the front of the Tail O’ The Bank public house at Greenock Harbours is not officially named.

The public house and restaurant currently lists Rue End Street as its address but the road on which it sits is identifiable as a separate one.

It is currently accessed from Rue End Street by way of Virginia Street.

Analysis of historical maps showed that Virginia Street used to form a crossroads with Rue End Street and that the unnamed road is a continuation of Virginia Street, but doesn’t follow the same route.

It was therefore proposed that the unnamed road be officially recognised as Virginia Street, but this proved controversial.

Ward four councillors had been consulted over the proposal and no objections or alternative suggestions were received.

However when the matter came to a meeting of the environment and regeneration committee it sparked discussion.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said: “Where does Virginia Street come from? In the USA it is known as a slave made state. Are we prepared to name a street in Greenock this in 2019?

“I’d be uncomfortable.

"I think we should be apologising for our association with the slave trade in this day and age.

"I would welcome more research into the name before making a decision.

“I think it would be worthwhile to have a discussion.

"I am not going against the idea, it might be an appropriate name but I’d like us to look at it further.

"This road has links to the tobacco industry and I just want us to see if it is appropriate.”

Committee colleague Councillor Christopher Curley said: “I think it is important that we don’t ignore our history and it is part of our history.

“It is important to think about what removing names like this would do.

"Would we be removing our guilt?

"It is important to be honest about our history.”

It was agreed that the name would be looked into further before an updated report is brought back to the committee for a final decision.